By ferry from Tingwall, just half an hour

Across Eynhallow’s unsettling sound

To Rousay, old Rolf’s Isle and

Concatenation of cairns.


Beachcombing, basking seals and wildflowers,

A whinchat glimpsed with merlin in pursuit

As we wend our clockwise

Panorama of shifting island

Perspectives and boreal seas.

blank 01 Wildflowers Secret Life of Plants

What then did I sense that

Orcadian season in a breezy day?

What lay beneath the

Slabs and tiers of Taversoe Tuick,

Neolithic mound and

Three-chambered tomb?


The light was flat, even, there to last

Like settled stone, muted though plentiful.

Of sound - no lightest touch of sound

Or perturbation, breath or undertone.

A stasis to stir the soul.

02 Stone Walk on the Wild Side

No bones, by now preserved elsewhere,

Or ancient airs,

But dry stones, unhurried, cool to touch.

A lichenous cast of green

Inscrutable, untroubled, serene.


I read

Old lives and passions carved

In the play of stone and soil.

Man’s gratuitous craving,

His fear and striving,

moods and machinations


03 Morning Glory

All passions tethered, healed and laid to rest

In quietude, a passing understood.


I could sit a century in this repose,

This certitude.


Connection out-of-time is not the Tingwall

Ferry’s final gift that day.

Spring’s early scent is everywhere as

We emerge to breathe the stuff of life again.

The air beats a tune, a pulse unheard before,

And the March wind dances.

04 Blue Hour line-clipart-page-break-8

Poem by Huw Gwynn-Jones, 2018



Photos by Nicki Gwynn-Jones, FRPS